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Bacillus species are Gram-positive and rod-shaped. They are capable of growing in the presence of oxygen. Each bacterial cell can form a capsule (called an endospore) to help it survive hostile conditions. These bacteria are found in almost all environments.
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Until 1991, the Bacillus genus included a large number of very dissimilar species, both at the genotypic level (the percentage of GC pairs varied from species to species ranging from 32% to 69%) and at the phenotype level. Comparisons of nucleotide sequences of 16S rRNA of 51 species revealed at least 5 phylogenetic groups. In 1992, 3 acidophilic and thermophilic species were isolated from the genus Bacillus into a separate genus Alicyclobacillus. In 1994 identified the genus Paenibacillus (which entered the famous producer of the antibiotic polymyxin - Paenibacillus polymyxa), in 1996, we identified three kinds - Aneurinibacillus, Brevibacillus, and Halobacillus, 1998 - Virgibacillus, 2001 - Filobacillus and Jeotgalibacillus. The systematics of the genus Bacillus has thus undergone great changes over time in connection with the explanation of the phylogenetic relations within the order of the Bacillales.
Bacilli are aerobes or facultative anaerobes, most are chemo-organo-heterotrophic and grows on simple nutrient media. Some species are capable of nitrate reduction. Large and medium-sized straight or slightly curved rods, capable of forming resistant to the adverse effects of endospores (extreme temperatures, desiccation, ionizing radiation, chemical agents), most of the species are mobile and have flagella located peritrichously, Bacillus anthracis forms capsules. According to the Gram, method stained positive. Recent studies have revealed that bacteria of the Bacillus subtilis species are capable of cannibalism during sporulation by the production of toxins into the environment and further lysis of the cells of their species.
== Role in biotechnology = amylase, and proteinase and is used in production. Bacillus thuringiensis, as well as Cry-toxins synthesized by this species of bacteria, are used in plant bio-protection as an alternative to synthetic insecticides. Bacilli are also used in genetic engineering as hosts for DNA cloning. The advantages of bacilli as hosts for DNA cloning are the high level of knowledge of the genome of many species, the ability to secrete intact proteins to the environment, the lack of requirements of most species for the nutrient medium, high manufacturability, and the possibility of long-term storage of industrial strains in the form of dried spores.
Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax and is classified as pathogenicity group II, Bacillus cereus is the causative agent of foodborne toxicoinfections in humans.
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